Even the most novice entrepreneurs understand how important it is to identify your target audience. Many have a general idea of the type of person who will favor their brand’s products or services, including some basic demographics like age, gender, occupation, and income level. But what about delving deeper to build a comprehensive profile: understanding their goals, motives, and behaviors?
Cue the “buyer persona.” According to HubSpot, a buyer persona, also called a marketing persona, is a fictional, generalized representation of your ideal customers. Personas can help marketers to internalize those who fit the bill and relate to them on a human level instead of just another fish in the sea of consumerism. This can give tremendous value and depth to your product development, marketing efforts, customer relations… you name it!
Buyer personas can help to define the way your brand interacts with your customers – your marketing DNA. In turn, you’re one step closer to flourishing in today’s competitive healthcare landscape.
Creating a Customer-Driven Brand
Today’s consumer is savvy, empowered, and demands our full attention. Your customers should be front and center in your company’s marketing DNA, and buyer personas are the foundation of this strategy. Buyer personas help you to truly understand what makes your customers tick, paving the way for personalized communications and tailored efforts that meet their specific needs.
Depending on the size and scope of your brand, you can have anywhere from one or two personas to 10 or 20. However, it’s important to start small. You’ll need clear distinctions between each persona to make sure your efforts are directed and well-rounded.
Applying Your Personas
Buyer personas can help with virtually all aspects of your brand’s development and operations. You’ll see an especially strong benefit in your ongoing marketing efforts, including content development, social media, and SEO strategies.
For example, consider an email marketing campaign. If you segment your subscriber list by persona, you can tweak your messaging to each group as opposed to blasting out the same canned content to everyone. Going a step further, you can map out highly-targeted long-term marketing efforts based on where your customers are in the sales cycle.
Buyer Persona Dos and Don’ts
Developing a buyer persona will require some work, but it’s often simpler than it might seem. Keep these tips in mind when developing your buyer personas:
- Do consider negative, or exclusionary, personas. Which types of customers are a bad fit for your brand? Negative personas can help you to avoid wasting your efforts.
- Do keep your personas realistic. You can target your dream customer, but make sure you’re focusing on those whose needs and desires your brand currently fulfills.
- Do get specific. HubSpot advises you to use real human images to visualize your personas, as well as create quotes that capture their internal thoughts.
- Don’t rely on demographics alone. Psychographics like goals, habits, and concerns are what will truly diversify your personas and fuel your unique marketing efforts.
- Don’t dive into it without doing your research. This can be based on speaking with your sales team, directly surveying and interviewing customers, conducting market research, and the like.
To learn more, take a look at this awesome guide from HubSpot on creating buyer personas. If you’d like some help from the pros, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can help develop your personas and code your marketing DNA.